Robert Gleavy, Associate Vice President of Sales, Definitive Healthcare LLC
Recently, we had an opportunity to connect with Robert Gleavy, Associate Vice President of Sales at Definitive Healthcare LLC and listen to his thinking on what makes top performing salespeople different, what gives them their competitive edge and what sales leaders can do to train and support them. He shared a number of unique ideas focused around:
- Those Who Prepare Drive the Conversation
- Build a Story Around Your Competitive Advantages
- Leverage Yourself to Create Better Sales Reps
- Sales Managers Have to Walk the Talk
Early in the interview, Robert said something that really framed the rest of our conversation,
“Within sales, we need to be careful in how we set up our deals. Our preparation allows us to see what kind of transaction we could have. More perspective allows deals to be done right, with more value and longevity behind them. A limited perspective only sets you up to negotiate for the now.”
The type of long-term perspective Robert is referring to represents a paradigm shift from looking at the deal as a transaction that is only happening now to viewing the entire customer lifecycle; past and future. As Robert points out, this allows top performers to negotiate with foresight and craft a solution for the customer that is scalable and leads to more business in the future.
Those Who Prepare Drive the Conversation
We asked Robert what he sees as the habits that are critical for success in sales. Here is his thinking,
“Pre-call prep is critical to get in the habit of, to be successful in sales. A great habit to get into is spending at least 5-10 minutes before the call reviewing notes that could be helpful during the conversation.”
We’ve found that top salespeople often prepare for a sales interaction the same way an athlete might prepare for a game. They take the time immediately before a sales interaction to eliminate distraction, clear their minds, and focus exclusively on the task at hand. A number of top performers have told us pre-call routines like this help to mentally prime them for the sales call they are about to have.
When we asked Robert about the impact of not preparing effectively before the call, he added,
“When you do not prepare for the call, you end up giving demo pitches with cookie-cutter questions. Those who prepare, drive the conversation with more in-depth discovery questions.”
Build a Story Around Your Competitive Advantages
Next, we asked Robert what set’s top performers apart from their peers. Robert observed,
“Any sales representative will know how to regurgitate the general value propositions. However, when you get into a competitive situation, a top performer truly understands and can communicate the mechanics behind what differentiates the company.”
The way top performers communicate their messaging differs significantly from typical salespeople. We find they connect their differentiating factors to what matters to the decision makers and influencers in a more meaningful way. When we asked Robert about the top performers he has seen and how they craft their sales messaging he observed,
“Good representatives build a story around the competitive advantages and tie in the product value. Representatives who stay stagnant only know affiliation data. The best habit to have is studying your products so you know the value of what you are selling.”
Leverage Yourself to Create Better Sales Reps
At this point in the interview, our conversation turned to sales managers and how they coach and train. We asked Robert about some of the biggest coaching challenges that face sales managers. Robert expressed,
“Inexperienced sales managers tend to show and do, versus teach. At the end of the day, that is not sustainable. As a manager, you need to teach so you can leverage yourself and create better sales reps to help sustain the larger picture.”
As team sizes grow and more priorities are placed on the sales manager’s plate, individual coaching sessions can sometimes take a back seat to matters that feel more immediate. This often creates a challenge for sales managers who strongly desire to mentor their team but don’t feel they have the time to take on each person individually. Robert takes on that challenge with his managers in this way,
“Sometimes we don’t have the ability to coach one-on-one. So, as a manager, it is important to pre-call prep. Understand what your rep may be thinking prior to a call or their approach. That allows you to quickly mentor and make sure they are set up for success.”
Sales Managers Have to Walk the Talk
At the close of our interview, Robert offered two pieces of clear thinking to sales managers.
- “It is important that your team doesn’t think you are trying to show them up when you help to close deals or provide insight. To avoid this, you can show the reasoning behind why you are suggesting the feedback or the experiences that you have had. This will not allow any breaks in the communication chain, or allow room for assumptions.”
- “Let your reps know it is ok to fail and that you will be there to support them. It builds trust and credibility. When they know you are willing to walk the walk and talk the talk, they will find their value.”
Thanks to Robert for the interview and solid tips on how to generate stronger sales teams!
For videos on how to increase sales utilizing the SalesGym’s “Compete Selling” approaches, check out our SalesGym YouTube Channel!
SalesGym is a research, consulting, and training company that works with and learns from sales teams all over the world and has refined a coaching and training process that trains sales teams the way elite athletes are trained. More insights and articles from us can be found on our RESOURCES PAGE.
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